Administrators will miss Sample but have high hopes for Nikias

first_imgAs President Steven B. Sample prepares to deliver his final speech as USC’s president, top administrators are anxious to see what incoming President C. L. Max Nikias will bring to the table.In August, Sample will officially pass the torch to Nikias, who was unanimously chosen by the Board of Trustees to be the university’s next president.Ready to go · University administrators have high hopes for incoming President C. L. Max Nikias, who takes over at the end of the summer. – Gary Fung | Daily Trojan Sample is leaving behind an impressive legacy. During his 19-year tenure, the quality of education and of student life at USC improved by leaps and bounds. The school shot up in the national rankings, the endowment grew significantly and USC’s presence increased around the country and world.“He’s the man who came in 19 years ago and really communicated to the Trojan family, really made the Trojan family believe that not only they were good but they could become excellent,” Nikias said. “He’s the one that has shown the Trojan family that there are so many possibilities, that we could excel.”But top administrators say they are confident the university’s growth won’t end with Sample, and many, including Sample himself, say there is a lot of work to be done.“I’m never satisfied, that’s not my nature, but we’ve made enormous strides,” Sample said during a November interview with the Daily Trojan. “We still have lots of room to get better.”The university Nikias will take charge of in August is an entirely different school from the one Sample entered almost two decades ago. USC does not need a dramatic transformation — it has already become an elite university — but the school can still grow and many have high hopes for the future.Sample said he thinks Nikias could make great strides in research rankings and in recruiting the best Ph.D. students. Michael Jackson, vice president for Student Affairs, hopes Nikias will continue the transformation into a true residential university; Vice Provost for Undergraduate Programs Gene Bickers wants to see USC’s interdisciplinary focus continue to grow; and Viterbi School of Engineering Dean Yannis Yortsos thinks it’s important that USC continue trying to up the ante.“We need to continue on the path toward converting our residences to residential colleges where we have faculty families and students,” Jackson said. “We also need to renew our opportunities for students to participate in recreational programs and to improve the Lyon Center.”Jackson said he also sees opportunities for development in online education and noted that the endowment could still be larger.Yortsos said Nikias should build on Sample’s success.“Max’s challenge will be not only to solidify USC’s position where it is now but hit the next level because there’s always a next level,” he said.USC can reach this next level, Yortsos said, by being part of the next big thing.“For instance, take the next Google that will come, whatever that is,” Yortsos said. “It would be very important for the school that its name be associated with the next big thing.”Of all these goals, Nikias will perhaps be best prepared to tackle USC’s transformation into a residential university, with the new Ronald Tutor Campus Center set to open in the fall.“[The campus center] is a physical construction that makes a big statement of how far the university has come in residential life and having first-class physical infrastructure,” Nikias said. “The campus center coming up is going to allow us to make the campus more residential on weekends.  We’re making this more residential on weekends. When we talk about a residential university it isn’t just residential four or five days, it should be 24/7.”The campus center is a huge step toward transforming the campus atmosphere, Jackson said, and it offers Nikias a great chance to continue developing campus life.Nikias plans to start his tenure by launching a new fundraising campaign to help increase the school’s endowment, which is still relatively low given the number of students at the university. His initial focus also includes improving the quality of USC’s research, its Ph.D. students and the Health Sciences Campus.Administrators said they are confident this summer’s transition will be smooth and say they are excited to see the university move forward under Nikias.“We’re all going to be in exceptionally good hands moving forward,” Bickers said. “Their missions are very much in tune.”“We’re excited,” Jackson said. “We’re sad to see President Sample go and clearly we celebrate his achievements and all that he’s done for us collectively and individually, [but] we’re excited to rally around Max Nikias.”Nikias said he is humbled to follow in the footsteps of his mentor and is exited for the challenges that lie ahead.“I feel very fortunate that I have worked so closely with [Sample], he’s been a great mentor to me and in many ways I learned from the master. And I feel that perhaps I’m one of the luckiest people in the area of higher education because not too many people would have had the opportunity that I did, not only to be part of the ride of the USC ascent but also to have the opportunity to work closely with President Sample,” Nikias said. “That is priceless.”last_img read more

Andrew White diversifies offensive game amid shooting slump

first_img Published on December 29, 2016 at 8:53 pm Contact Paul: | @pschweds Andrew White knew he had to change up his strategy. After receiving a face-guard from St. John’s’ Malik Ellison, White’s inklings of needing to diversify his offensive game surfaced once again. He couldn’t rely so much on 3-pointers if he hoped to be successful going forward.Against Cornell on Tuesday, White charged toward the basket more often and scored at the rim. The fifth-year graduate transfer is still adjusting to Syracuse and 13 games into the season, how he’s scoring is undergoing a bit of a change.“I’d like to get to the hole a little bit more,” White said. “… I’m going to try and take some of the stuff that I used last year, kind of mold that into my game so that I can be a little bit more well-rounded.”Following White’s worst game of the season, a two-point performance against St. John’s on Dec. 21, the changes had to happen. He successfully attacked the basket on six occasions against the Big Red and racked up 12 points. The game provided a glimpse at what he can do even when he goes scoreless from deep and it’s a transformation that SU (8-5) may continue relying on when Atlantic Coast Conference play begins on Sunday at noon at Boston College (7-6).In a six-game stretch prior to the St. John’s game, 25 of White’s 31 converted field goals were 3-pointers. He mostly either spotted up at the 3-point line waiting for a pass or curled around a screen designed to get him open. It resulted in a similar, even predictable, catch-and-shoot rhythm.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textJacob Greenfeld | Asst. Photo EditorThe strategy worked for the ACC’s leader in 3-pointers made (39) this season, until Ellison shut White down in his first game scoring fewer than 10 points this year. It was the first time since high school that White faced a box-and-one defense, he said, and without being a dangerous threat to dribble, St. John’s went all in on locking him down to defend the 3-pointer. Paired with a Syracuse offense that ranks 126th in the country with 76.7 points per game, shutting down SU’s leading scorer is a strategy that opponents could likely employ again.“Teams are going to deny him as much as they can,” Orange head coach Jim Boeheim said.While White has gone 0-for-7 from behind the arc in the past two games, he scored in different ways in Syracuse’s last nonconference game against Cornell.Twice in the first half, White split two defenders in the lane on his way to the basket for an easy layup in transition. Four minutes into the second half, he grabbed an offensive rebound and made both free throws after he got fouled on the putback attempt. A minute later, he stole the ball, went coast-to-coast, drew a foul and again hit both free throws. Thirty seconds after that, he cut along the baseline, caught a pass inside from Taurean Thompson and smoothly finished.His makes surrounded the basket as he went 3-for-5 on 2-point field goals. His six made free throws against Cornell were a season-high, an indication that he was getting inside well enough to draw fouls.“When you’re a good shooter you’ll have to take a few tough shots,” point guard Frank Howard said, “but you don’t want every shot to be that tough.”White said he wants to get back to being a threat from several places on the court, like he was last year. At Nebraska last season, 44.6 percent of White’s field goals came via 3-pointers, compared to 63.9 percent this season. But as a result of improved point guard play getting him the ball in open spots, White said he hadn’t had to find other ways to score. Until recently.“I try to look at the shots, look at my form, look at my technique,” White said, “and figure out what I could have done to correct that shot and what else was going on around it.”Amid his current shooting slump, the answer for White is attacking the basket. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Maurizio Sarri tells Chelsea he wants to leave the club

first_imgMaurizio Sarri has informed Chelsea he wants to leave the club this summer, according to Sky in Italy.In his first season at Stamford Bridge, Sarri secured Chelsea a return to the Champions League by sealing a third-placed Premier League finish, before claiming the first major trophy of his career by lifting the Europa League.However, amid interest from Serie A champions Juventus, Sarri held talks with Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia on Friday and she promised to talk to the club’s owner Roman Abramovich about his future.Despite delivering a more than adequate performance in terms of end-of-season results, Sarri endured consistent criticism from a significant portion of the club’s supporters throughout the campaign.Chelsea beat Liverpool and Tottenham to advance to the Carabao Cup final, which they lost on penalties to Manchester City, but fans remained unsatisfied with the possession-based ‘Sarri-ball’ style of play the Italian was attempting to implement.With Massimiliano Allegri having departed Juventus earlier this month, Sky in Italy understand that Sarri is the club’s primary candidate to fill the role, and he now appears keen to take up the position.Ahead of his showdown talks with the Chelsea hierarchy, Sarri met with his agent Fali Ramadani, who prepared his client to engineer a route out of the London club. Source: Skysportslast_img read more